The cancer-science drama boasts a heavyweight cast led by Samantha Morton and Helen Hunt. Entertainment One Films has set Decoding Annie Parker for a summer day-and-date release in theaters and VOD. Veteran cinematographer Steven Bernstein is making his featuring directing debut on the film, which is based loosely on the life of Annie Parker (Morton), a cancer survivor who must deal with the deaths of her father and sister, a cheating husband (Aaron Paul) and her own mortality, and the career of geneticist Mary-Claire King (Hunt), who discovers a gene mutation that revolutionizes understanding and treatment of certain types of breast cancer. Bradley Whitford, Rashida Jones, Richard Schiff, Alice Eve, Maggie Grace, Marley Shelton, Chris Mulkey and Corey Stoll also star in the film, which Bernstein co-wrote with Adam Bernstein and Michael Moss. Steven Bernstein also produced Annie Parker with Keith Kjarval, Clark Peterson and Stuart W. Ross.
Samantha Mathis has been cast in AMC‘s pilot Line Of Sight, from creator Blake Masters and director Jonathan Demme. It tells the story of Lewis Bernt (David Morrissey), a National Transportation Safety Board investigator who survives a mysterious plane crash, bringing him on an emotionally disorienting quest to discover the accident’s cause. Mathis, repped by Paradigm and the Schiff Co, will play Tony’s (Kai Lennox) wife. She comes off a recurring role on CBS’ breakout Under The Dome.
Canadian actress Natalie Brown (Being Human) has booked the FX pilot The Strain, directed by Guillermo del Toro. It tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team who are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. Brown will play Eph’s ex-wife Kelly Goodweather fails to heed her husband’s warning about the contagion spreading in Manhattan. She replaces Lauren Lee Smith who was originally cast in the role. Brown, repped by Thruline and Amanda Rosenthal Talent, recurs on Canadian series Cracked and Bitten.
Samantha Morton and Michael Shannon have been cast as the leads of The Harvest, a psychological thriller to be directed by Wild Things helmer John McNaughton. Precious producer Elephant Eye Films is producing and handling international sales; Living Out Loud Productions will finance. The story centers on Katherine (Morton), a successful heart surgeon and overprotective mother, and Richard (Shannon), her co-dependent husband who has retired from his career as a nurse to care for their sick son Andy. Andy lives in a controlled world until an innocent 13-year-old neighbor moves in and gives Andy hopes of a better life. As the teens grow closer, the tight-knit world Katherine has created begins to unravel. Charlie Tahan, Natasha Calis, Leslie Lyles, and Meadow Williams co-star. Stephen Lancellotti wrote the script. Kim Jose, David Robinson, Steven A. Jones, and Williams are producing the film, which is shooting in Palisades and Brooklyn through January.
A plummy accent and good connections are among essential attributes for moving ahead in Britain’s film and TV industry, according to a new report by two British academics. The production sector is “dominated by the middle classes who hoard opportunities to work on the best contracts,” say professor Irena Grugulis of Durham University and Dr Dimitrinka Stoyanova of the University of St Andrews. After a period of observation and dozens of interviews with industry folk, the pair found that the working class, women and those from ethnic minorities were either under-represented or held low or medium quality positions – or a mixture of the two. The academics cited issues like neoptism and “social capital” (ie a network of powerful friends) as factors in the findings. Samantha Horley, whose London-based Salt Company has a progressive policy towards hiring, concurs. “I still think the British industry is extremely classist,” she tells me, noting that in the international sales sector, “people for the most part want sales people who speak like Hugh Grant.” The study also found that the working class was discriminated against because they don’t have the “right accents, hairstyles, clothes or backgrounds.” Maxine Peake, of Channel 4′s Shameless, recently noted the lack of high-profile working class actresses in Britain saying there’s “loads” of working class actors but only one woman: Samantha Morton. Still, Horley, who admits that her own privileged background was probably a leg-up when she started in the business, doesn’t feel that discrimination extends to the creative sector. “You do notice that there’s a lot of posh producers looking after their grungy directors,” she says. The full press release regarding the academic findings follows: